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Paranoid Cat-Serious mental illness?
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Paranoid Cat-Serious mental illness?

About two years ago my parents got a cat. They were told he was a Persian, but as he grew up we realized he definitely was not. We don't know what he is, but he is huge. I think he was about 9 weeks old when they got him, maybe a little older. They weren't able to bring him home right away so he stayed with my aunt and her two children for the first month or so. My aunt has cared for most of our cats before we got them, but not when she had children.

The cat, Joey, has had problems with most strangers, although he normally just avoids them. When my aunt and her children came to visit, however, he hissed and struck at them with his paw.

When he was about one year old my parents began letting him outside. We live in a fairly open area, and there are feral cats and foxes living around. We have never had any problems with them and any of our other cats. The other two cats, both Persians, are mellow and deal with going outside just fine. Sometimes they spend the night outside, even though they shouldn't. Joey has never spent the night outside.

Today, I took the two Persians to get groomed. They get very furry which makes them miserable in the summer, especially going outside. Joey does not get groomed because he doesn't need it, and when we took him the groomer couldn't manage him and recommended a sedative, which we didn't want to give him. When I brought the Persians back from grooming, everything was fine for about fifteen minutes. Joey hadn't really had much contact with them. Suddenly when I was downstairs I heard a loud disturbance. Joey had attacked one of the Persians and was hissing and growling frantically, he had also thrown up. He would let me near him at first, but then started growling and hissing again. It was like he didn't recognize the other cats. My parents have mentioned that sometimes it seems like he doesn't recognize them (my parents) but we never pursued it and he's never had a problem with the other cats. I isolated him in the bathroom, which was his room growing up and where he feels safest. Within an hour he was totally fine, napping and playing with me. Within four hours he was finally ready to go out. As soon as he went out and saw the Persians it was the same thing all over again except ten times worse. He hid under the bed and hissed and growled at me when I tried to coax him out. I finally isolated him back in the bathroom but he wouldn't stop hissing and growling. I was two rooms away and could still hear him growling through the walls. It's like he's possessed. I don't know what to do or what's wrong with him. He is paranoid and I'm worried he is going to hurt one of the other cats or himself. Please help if you have any suggestions or ideas. Thank you.
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874521_tn?1375890587
Oh dear, sounds like poor Joey is having some issues. IMO he's a very high strung cat who doesn't tolerate stress very well.
I'm not sure if the children mishandled him in the beginning? thats hard to say if thats what formed his currently personality or not, or perhaps its just his genetics and stress....sorry I can't give you any better answers on that one.

As far as all the hissing and growling today since returning from the groomers....again if he was overwhelmed with stress by going there and the handling it would bring out an aggressive personality, he is scared and trying to protect himself in the only way he knows how,...the hissing and growling at the other two cats may have alot to do with the scent they now carry from the groomers, not only of other animals but also of the products and Joey is associating these smells with all the fear he was subjected to.

I think you really just need to continue to isolate Joey for a day or two, until his fears calm down..than allow him to rejoin the family. If this continues beyond a few days than you may need to consult a Vet and he may indeed need something to calm him.
the Clinic's do sell a product called FELIWAY it comes in a spray or a diffuser, it is a natural product that mimics a feline hormone, the cats feel calmer around this scent.

good luck to all the family and to poor Joey. Please post again we want to continue to hear how he is doing.
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242912_tn?1402547092
I'm wondering how Joey's doing?  We have a very strange neighbor cat who acts like you describe Joey.  I have to agree with Opus in that Joey is likely reacting to the strange smells on the Persians.  It's been 2days so I hope by now the Persians smell more like themselves and Joey isn't reacting so violently.

I've known our neighbor cat for 4yrs - since she was about 8mos - and one minute she is brushing up against my leg and wanting to be pet and loved on and the next minute, literally the next minute, she is growling and hissing like she doesn't even know me.  My cat needed her ears amputated last year and as soon as Jade came home, the relationship with neighbor cat was not the same for a long time because Jade looks so different, plus had spent 10days boarded at the vet so not only looked different, but smelled different, too.  At least that's why I *think* the change in the relationship.  

Something strange.  When Jade was gone those 10days, neighbor cat LIVED here and acted like a completely different cat.  Was sweet, never growled or hissed and would let you pet her much longer than usual.  She obviously would like to be the *only* cat in our yard, but I had to tell her sorry :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi
I also have a cat the same, she was abandoned and was abused as a kitten, we took her in from a shelter at 5 months, she is now 14 yrs.  She hisses, growls, also bites and scratches us - the ones that feed her, and does this crazy dance now and again, now my daughter and I have rescued two other kittens 5 months old and she is worse, going mad.  I will go to the vet today to seek this spray for her.  

Hope your cat has calmed down!
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1389663_tn?1298709021
Thank you for the concern and suggestions.

To Jade59, Joey is doing much better. He calmed down within a week, and while he sometimes becomes nervous after the persians get back from the groomers, he hasn't been nearly as bad. He even snuggles with them now! :)

Your neighbor cat's behavior sounds much more extreme than Joey's, but at the same time along very similar lines. I wonder if the neighbor cat has a similar personality to Joey with a more extreme possessiveness or need to be the only cat? Joey is alright as long as the Persians smell normal. Are Jade and the neighbor cat doing alright?

Opus88 was absolutely right, Joey just doesn't handle stressful situations well. He doesn't hiss at my parents at all any more, although he does become alarmed when he "plays" himself into a frenzy. He also does crazy dances along the same lines that Angelgrowlingcat described, although his behavior is not to the extreme of your cat and he only does it when playing.

The best solution I've found is just to make sure he has his own room (one of the bathrooms). We have a litter box, bed, and water in there for him, and whenever he's upset he normally runs in there. We close the door and he sleeps for a while, and after he wakes up he is completely back to normal.

To Angelgrowlingcat I would recommend the own room thing. It has really helped Joey, because he has a place where he feels completely safe.

Another thing that helped was the one of the Persians (Fuzzy) has become very old and in the past few months more lethargic. In response, Joey is very gentle with her. When she comes back from the groomers he seems to recognize Fuzzy first, and after a while becomes more comfortable with Louie as well.
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757137_tn?1347200053
In my life I have known two psycho cats. Just as people can be mentally disturbed, so can animals. The first one became so dangerous that when my daughter called the caps they were afraid to capture it and called animal control. The cat was put down. The second was given me by another daughter when she left for overseas. I saw at once that he was not quite right. With time he became more and more peculiar and then dangerous. Finally my husband, wearing protection, chased him out of the house to live the life of the feral. I love animals and perhaps cats even more than dogs. They are wonderful, funny companions, and very clever. We lost our last cat after a very serious accident. He was the most endearing one we ever had and we miss him still.

Consider getting rid of Joey.
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Avatar_m_tn
Any pet in my opinion can be handled, when the handler knows the animal well along with how to deal with his 'peculiarities'. One of my five cats behave exactly the same as Joey does when our other cats come from the vet. He hates the vet thus the vet smell agitates him.

However, allmymarblez the fact that you had two very nervous cats and the fact that their behavioral problems got worse in time seem to suggest that something in the houseold makes them on the edge. It might be sheer bad luck though! However I definitely do not support this 'chasing away' or getting rid of' method. Most animals can be rehabilitated with right owners and rehoming them instead of abandoning them in the wild to be possibly killed by ferals is a much humane choice.

I really do hope you won't 'get rid' of Joey if that is even an option. He definitely sounds like he is doing much better!
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1389663_tn?1298709021
Thank you for your feedback. Getting rid of Joey has never been an option. He lives with my parents, and they are crazy about him, as am I. Besides, he hasn't shown any signs of being to the extreme that allmymarblez described. He's very important to my parents. My dad actually has nightmares about something happening to him. :)  

So nobody is getting rid of Joey. If my parents ever get to the point that they can't handle him, he will come live with me and my roommates (who also love him). They probably won't ever let me take him though. If anything, Joey needs a twin. He's a nervous cat, but everyone who knows him loves him, and he is very affectionate with people (and recently: cats) that he knows.
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535822_tn?1389452880
Glad to hear that he is safe ..it really sounded to me reading these posts that this kitty was plain scared ,I have seen inside cats at a 'friends'  behaving hysterically ,maybe that could also be a factor its not natural for a cat to spend its life inside ,never being out in the fresh air or walking round ,chasing  little birds, .
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757137_tn?1347200053
These cats were from two different homes. Both were exceedingly dangerous. These were not "nervous" cats. They were insane cats. As for chasing the second one away, there was no way to capture it, and if we could have, what would we have done with it? In any case our safety at that point in time was more important than the cat's, and it was imperative that we get rid of it in any way that we could. The fury of the animal was such that even my great big husband was frightened. I have lived with animals all my life - dogs, ducks, geese, macaques, a huge tortoise, and cats. When treated with kindness pets are affectionate and gentle. But, just as with humans, the occasional one can be insane.
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757137_tn?1347200053
What kind of luck do we have rehabilitating homicidal maniacs?
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Avatar_f_tn
hello just hoping someone can help me out here a little bit I am a caretaker for an 88 year old man whose wife has passed away this past February and 2 months ago I noticed a little cat hanging out around the house so I took the cat in and started feeding it it looks like a tabby cat and it is a female I know I had her name Sam or Sammy because I didn't know if it was a male or female anyway she's female and she's loving and she always jumps up on Harold's lap and he just loves her and I leave them at night um to go to my home and they hang out and and he's really attached to this kitty and he loves her he is going away next week to his daughters house and he'll be gone for a month so I need to board Sammy I hate to do that but I have to um she will be vaccinated and spade my question is sometimes she runs around just frantic and I don't know if she's playing or or what she's doing but I'm not sure how long she was even living on her own or or what's going on but one minute she's loving and playful next minute um even show up trying like lol you if your patner or bite real hard but is everything she does its off to you so she knows you know she loves you she's a good cat anyway so I just wondered if anyone had any ideas could this weird behavior because because she's not spayed yet anyone thank you thank you
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874521_tn?1375890587
good for you for taking care of Harold and his kitty too....your a wonderful person to care so much.
IMO this kitty is just being playful as kitties will be....if she gets biting or agressive at all when she's in this playful mood just say a loud NO, do not hit her or spray her...just tell her NO and leave her alone until she settles down. She may settle a bit after she's spayed...some do some don't. but she will learn this is not acceptable behavior. get her some toys, like birds on a little rope so she can bat at them or small balls that have bells inside she would love some toys...
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